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What is the Quality Score?

What is the Quality Score?

Search Quality Score
The Quality score is an algorithm that scores each of your ads for relevancy. It is an estimate of the quality of your ads, keywords and landing pages. 

The Quality Score is reported on a scale of 1-10. The lowest rating is 1, and the highest is 10.

Optimising your Quality Score is extremely important for the success of your campaigns.

What does the Quality Score influence?
Eligibility – whether your ad is shown or not
Price – a higher Quality Score reduces your CPC (Cost per click)
Ad Rank and Top slot – only ads with high Quality Score appear to the top slots
Position – the relative position of your ad in relation to other ads on the result page

Eligibility – whether your ad is shown or not
If your Quality Score is too low, you may see this message: ‘Rarely shown (low Quality Score)’. This keyword is eligible to run ads. It isn’t performing well because it has a low Quality Score.

Price – a higher Quality Score reduces your CPC (Cost per click) 
The actual CPC cost is the result of this formula:

You can raise your cost per click bids, but if your Quality Score is too low, your ad can still show below your competitors who may have a higher Quality Score.

Good to know about Quality Score 
– Quality Score isn’t a key performance indicator and shouldn’t be optimised or aggregated with the rest of your data.

– Quality Score isn’t an input in the ad auction. It’s a diagnostic tool to identify how ads that show for certain keywords affect the user experience

How Ad Rank is calculated 
On the Search Network, your ad rank is calculated by your CPC (Cost per click) bid multiplied by your Quality Score.

For your ad to rank #1, you need a high Quality Score and eligibility, as only high quality ads can appear on the top slot.

Position – the relative position of your ad in relation to other ads on the result page
The example below shows GOOGLE wins position number 1, despite Advertiser 3 bidding the same, and Advertiser 4 bidding even higher.


This is because GOOGLE’s Quality Score is higher than Advertiser 3 and Advertiser 4.

What factors determine your Quality Score?
Exp. CTR (Expected click-through rate).
Ad relevance.
Landing page exp. (Landing page experience).

There are factors related to your ad Quality that might not be captured by Quality Score. These factors include, but aren’t limited to:

    • Devices used in search
    • Location of user
    • Time of day
    • Ad extensions 


To check your Quality Score 

Keywords > Check the columns Exp. CTR, Ad relevance, and Landing page exp. 
If you don’t see these columns: COLUMNS > Modify columns for keywords > Quality score > Check Exp. CTR, Ad relevance. and Landing page exp. 

Quality Score (hist.) (historical)
The Quality Score (hist.) reflects the last known score for the reporting period. 

It is an aggregated estimate of how well a keyword has performed overall in past ad auctions.

If you don’t see the column: COLUMNS > Modify columns for keywords > Quality score > Check Quality Score (hist.). 

Analyse your Quality Score (hist.)
Select a date range to analyse your Quality Score historical.

In this example, the Quality Score (hist.) reads 5/10 in October, and 7/10, in September. In October, it decreased by -2/10, (-28.57%). We can assume that some changes in October might have contributed to that drop.

Change History
The Change History shows all changes made during any given period, and it helps you to understand what changes may have affected your Quality Score.


Extract from my Book ‘Making Google Ads Work’.

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